Get to know the Special Olympics
Published: Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 11:03
A day filled with playing bocce, bowling, basketball and swimming. What could be better than that?
A tentative date of May 4 has been set to hold an event filled with fun and games where community members can interact with athletes and coaches of the Armstrong/Indiana chapter of Special Olympics. The event will be held at Zink Hall and will last for approximately two hours. This event is perfect for anyone who wants to become involved. It’s a stepping stone toward being introduced to Special Olympics.
Mary Jane Ramer, who is the County Manager of the local chapter of Special Olympics, met with two members of the Sport Administration Club on March 1 to discuss the details of the upcoming get-together.
Maria Bacco (junior, sport administration), the publicity officer for the SAC along with Krystle Lucci (junior, sport administration), secretary for the SAC, are coordinating with Ramer to run the event.
“Anyone willing to dedicate their time to help these incredible athletes is encouraged to attend the event,” Ramer said. “We have almost 80 athletes who participate in these games year-round.
“Sometimes there are athletes who cannot compete because they do not have a volunteer or coach to accompany them in the games. It happens because we do not always have enough volunteers.”
Ramer was quick to inform that there are students and faculty already involved.
Dr. Anne Simmons and her husband Dr. Tom Simmons (biology department) attend the games on a regular basis. They have even encouraged their daughter to become involved.
“Working with these kids is a very humbling experience,” Simmons said. “Everyone receives some type of award and no one complains. In my eyes, they are the best athletes in the world.”
Simmons is the Training Coordinator for this section. She recalled previous experiences which have inspired her to become involved and spread the word. The memories included witnessing the opening ceremonies of an international event and experiencing how serious it was. She began to tear up while retelling the memory.
This is the first event of its kind to happen at IUP. Attending on May 4 can be a gateway toward bigger and better things. For more information, questions are to be directed to Krystle Lucci at email@example.com.